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Be a smooth operator with our winter skin Rx!

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Be a smooth operator with our winter skin Rx!

Does “see you later, alligator” hit a little too close to home these days? Dry, itchy skin—one of winter’s more irritating maladies—often accompanies the low humidity, cold temperatures, and blasting indoor heat that characterize the season. But you don’t have to suffer through it. Using a humidifier in your home, set to between 30 and 50 percent, can help to maintain moisture to your skin and may even keep you healthier. Sinuses dry out when the air is dry, leaving you more vulnerable to colds and other infections. No humidifier? Leaving large bowls of water around the house can add moisture to the air as the water evaporates. And keep those showers short and warm. As much as you may want to linger under a blast of soothing hot water on cold winter mornings, long, hot showers dry out your skin (and can send your utility bill soaring!). Immediately after your shower, gently pat yourself dry and slather a heavy cream or coconut oil on your body to seal in the moisture. When braving the elements to go skiing, sledding, or hiking, a layer of petroleum jelly on your lips and cheeks can help protect you from windburn. And be sure to use sunscreen or a face cream with SPF. Snow and ice reflect the sun’s rays and can lead to burns. Rudolf’s nose may be red, but yours doesn’t have to be!